The only Nugget to play effectively tonight was Carmelo Anthony. The young superstar notched 34 points, four rebounds, and four steals. It was obvious that all the other Nuggets were experiencing a touch of Mr. Hyde for whatever reason. Kenyon only scored five while squeezing six. Rueben Patterson contributed immense amounts of effort, but didn’t put up numbers where it all adds up. He ended the game by only scoring six points but pulled down five offensive rebounds, many on his own drives to the basket.
The bench only contributed 15 points, which could be the result of the shuffling act placed upon George Karl. The proper players are going to take some time to calibrate. Who is going to develop chemistry with who is also going to be a maturation process. The only thing that the Nuggets have in their favor, as far as personnel is concerned, is the starting five. There is so much to be answered, and only time will tell.
The one person that has to find immediately remedy to this bipolar disorder is Andre Miller. The most unsung hero of this team is also quite possibly the grease that makes the Nugget engine run. Tonight Andre only handed out three dimes while turning it over twice as much. This is indication that the Nuggets never got the fast break kick started. In retrospective, it is becoming increasingly more clear to the why the Nuggets lost this game.
Andre may be the most clear individual to point the finger at for this game, but let me suggest that the problem tonight is much more complex than that. I am going to say that the problem isn’t much of a problem at all, but merely an issue that has been plaguing the Nuggets in the majority of their losses this season. I feel that what is ailing the Nugget’s is reserve chemistry, and this is a direct result of the inconsistent bench personnel that sees playing time on too consistent of a basis.
The Nuggets need to find a reliable seven to nine players and give them consistent playing time. The questioning of who is going to be in the game during the stretches where players earn their paychecks needs to come to an end. The cream needs to rise of the top, of the bench that is. The guys that are going to give this team everything they got in the minutes they are counted on for need to surface and stay right on the hip of George Karl when the starters need a blow.
Orlando is going to be ready to play when they show up tomorrow night. They are without Steve Francis and are going to let it all hang out. The front line of the Denver Nuggets is going to have their hands full with the league’s leading glass cleaner and youngest emerging superstar in Dwight Howard. The Nugget bench needs to answer the call of duty tomorrow night. The Nuggets can’t afford to get complacent with one big win because Utah is going to be watching and a consequential slide could be detrimental to the looming playoff picture. Snap back to save the weekend Nuggets, your playoff position depends on it.